I don’t really know why Liam Neeson just ‘came out’ about his short term (was it?) lapse into racism on the back of a man raping a close friend.
He asked the victim if she knew him, and then what colour the rapist was.
That surely gives you some insight into his predisposition towards the outcome.
Why would you ask that? Why wouldn’t you ask for a description of the perpetrator? Clearly if “black” came out in that initial response that would narrow the field.
On hearing the answer (that he was predisposed to hear?) he then strode the streets of London with a cosh, waiting for a black man to put a foot wrong so that he could take his anger out on this token representative of a UK minority, and murder him.
Not beat him up.
“I went up and down areas with a cosh, hoping I’d be approached by somebody – I’m ashamed to say that – and I did it for maybe a week, hoping some ‘black bastard’ would come out of a pub and have a go at me about something, you know? So that I could … kill him.”
OK. nothing happened and we all have thoughts we’d rather not admit, but this went further than that.
I’m no Black Rights evangeliser, I’m too busy moaning about Brexit and Trump to make time for that. It’s not an issue that in my daily life that I’m close to. But when I was at university in Stirling I did have a closer relationship with it.
My three flatmates, in The Raploch, included a Sri Lankan called Ram. He was hailed locally as “Hoy you ya black bastard’.
And once, when a human cycling chain of eight of us were pulled over by the local constabulary, drunk, for cycling with two lights between us. – one of my white pals on the front had the white light, Ram, bringing up the rear, had the red light.
In my mind that meant six of us were doomed and two of us had half a chance.
Of the eight, only Ram was issued a citation and eventually charged at Stirling Sherrif Court.
Odd. Wouldn’t you say.
Anyway, returning to Neeson.
I’m not at all clear why he tried to lighten his guilt by admitting this to a journalist, (surely not to dramatise the selling of his latest movie Neeson was promoting his new film, Cold Pursuit, in which he plays a man avenging the murder of his son).
It doesn’t really wash with me. He now has a cotton-wool-wrapped life, although the death of his wife cannot be dismissed lightly, so the daily trappings of ordinary people’s lives and a potential need to resort to violent retribution for extreme misdemeanors are probably pretty far from his likely day to day routine. Even in-extremis.
So, this public confessional feels more to me about making himself look good, modern, cool, right-on, honest, in-touch, engaged, worthy.
I think he should just have kept his gob shut.